Brexit supporting Derbyshire MP says she will campaign for Euro elections - but insists they shouldn't be happening

Mid-Derbyshire MP, Pauline Latham
Mid-Derbyshire MP, Pauline Latham

Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has said she will campaign for Conservative colleagues in the European Parliament election even though she wished it was not happening.

Brexiteer Mrs Latham is angry that the UK failed to meet the mandate of the 2016 referendum by not exiting the European Union in March.

Derbyshire Conservatives have reacted to the stalemate by refusing to knock on doors or deliver leaflets in support of Tory MEPs and candidates.

They said they will not take part in the elections because they “should not be happening”.

Mrs Latham said she had empathy for their stance but felt a deep loyalty to Emma McClarkin and Rupert Matthews, the two sitting Conservative MEPs.

She will also support other Tory candidates, Tony Harper, Brendan Clarke-Smith and Thomas Randall.

Mrs Latham, the MP for Mid-Derbyshire, said: “I completely understand why many Tories have said they will stay at home during this Euro election campaign.

“I spoke to Emma and Rupert, with whom I have had a strong rapport for years, and they appealed for my backing which I give out of personal loyalty.

“It is with a heavy heart that I find us having to field candidates because I was convinced we would have been out of the EU by now.”

Mrs Latham has been heavily critical of the role of Theresa May during Brexit negotiations.

She said: “I wasn’t impressed by the deal which the Prime Minister brokered but was eventually persuaded to vote for it because I feared that Brexit may not go ahead.

“Unfortunately, no deal was struck and we are now in a ridiculous state of limbo which requires us to go through an election even though the winning candidates may only sit for a short time or not at all.

“Nevertheless, for the reasons I have stated, I feel compelled to offer any help my colleagues need. I know if I were in the same position, I would want allies to rally around me.

“That said, I appeal again to Mrs May to get the Brexit shambles sorted out once and for all and bring the country the certainty it so desperately needs.”

Candidates from the Brexit Party, Change UK, the Independent Network, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Labour and UKIP are also standing in the East Midlands regional constituency.